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Stars line up for NZ Speedgolf Open title

Jamie Reid NZ Speedgolf Open
Jamie Reid the defending New Zealand Speedgolf Open is back again to win his third title. PHOTO: GOLF NZ

The New Zealand Speedgolf Open has attracted a top field for its 10th edition at Fitzroy Golf Club in New Plymouth with defending champions, a DP World Tour player, and another professional.


Defending champions Jamie Reid and Liz McKinnon will be the favourites once again in the fast golf format, which combines run time and golf score. However, as the sport continues to grow throughout the country, the talent pool has deepened, reflected in this year’s field.


Reid’s world championship partner, Robin Smith, will pose a threat once again. They won their world title in 2022 and Smith was a close second to Reid in the national event last year. He can run within three minutes of Reid’s time but has the ability to return a low golf score.


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Another threat will come from DP World Tour player Sam Jones, who finished fourth last year. He is now a professional and earned status in Europe after progressing through every stage of DP World Tour Qualifying School. More recently, he won his third Charles Tour title, at the Muriwai Open.


Jones will need to conjure some of his best golf to challenge for this year’s title.

Another professional who comes into the weekend as a dark horse is Harry Bateman.


The two-time Charles Tour winner has recently taken up the fast format and finished a close second to Robin Smith at the Carterton Speedgolf event in February, shooting 73 in 36 minutes.


Last year’s bronze medalist Brad Hayward is another to keep your eyes on in the men’s section.


Women’s defending champion McKinnon has never been beaten in the speedgolf format, but will face a serious challenge from Amy Linton, who won the Wellington Speedgolf Championship earlier this year. She has been training with her brother Smith, and some say, she the more talented of the two.


Long-time supporters of the event, Grant Carson, Tom Osborne, and Brad Barron, return once again. They are the only players to have played in every New Zealand Speedgolf Open.


Fitzroy Golf Club will host the event for the third year running and will play as a short 5100-yard par-68. Last year, Reid shot 70 in 31:59 (101:59) and 70 in 32:51 (102:51) for a combined total of 204:10. McKinnon returned 80 in 48:46 (128:46) and 75 in 49:19 (124:19) for a combined total of 253.05.

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